So we’ve all been reading how unpopular the president is, how we (Dems, Progressives) have the winds at our back, how we’re going to retake the House and – dare we say it? – impeach Trump.

Four factors are fueling this wave of optimism:

  1. Dems and Progressives won almost every 2017 race they contended, including our stunning successes in VA.
  2. Historically, the incumbent president’s party does badly in the mid-terms.
  3. Presidents with low approval ratings typically do badly in the mid-terms.
  4. The Left sees an energized base, chomping at the bit for more victories.

Feeling pretty good so far? Enjoy it, take a deep cleansing breath and read on.

Barring extraordinary circumstances, the Dems have no clear path to regaining the Senate. Yes, Republicans hold 52 seats and, in theory, Dems need only flip 3 to retake the Senate. However:

  1. Dems will be defending 25 seats, while Republicans are defending only 8.
  2. Of the 25 seats Dems need to defend, 10 are in states Trump won, and five of those are in states Trump won by 18 points or more. In comparison, only one Republican senator in a state Clinton won (Dean Heller in Nevada) is on the ballot.

In other words, Dems need to hold all their current seats and flip 3 more.

Time for another deep cleansing breath. Even if we don’t manage to flip either chamber of Congress, these mid-terms are of paramount importance because

The US Census is conducted every 10 years, with the next census scheduled to take place in 2020. New districts for US House and state legislative races will be based on the results and take effect ahead of the 2022 elections.

Welcome to the long game, folks. We can do this, we can effect change, both in the near term (the mid-terms and our local elections) and the long term (the 2020 presidential elections and redistricting). We have the momentum and, to quote a song we all know: Keep your eyes on the prize!

For a deeper dive into the numbers, and a map showing the 2018 Senate elections, please click here.

But wait – there’s more. This year 36 governorships are in play, with 15 (of 26) Republican and 6 (of 9) Dem considered competitive, including our own Larry Hogan (for the full article see here). (Alaska’s governor is technically an Independent.) The website 270ToWin has slightly different math but no matter how you slice and dice the numbers, the 2018 elections will be consequential on many, many levels.

Your Red2Blue Team is working with other Progressive groups to coordinate efforts to register voters (especially in minority and underserved areas of the state and county), and GOTV both for the primaries in June and the elections in Nov. At the meeting on 1/13 you’ll hear about some of our efforts so far, as well as what we have planned going forward.